Brendan Eich lasted two weeks as CEO of Mozilla before pressure from employees led to his resignation. The reason for that pressure? Eich’s $1,000 donation to California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that banned gay marriage in the state.
(Photo Credit: James Duncan David/Flickr)
The Wall Street Journal reports that Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s executive chairwoman, offered an apology for Eich’s appointment, saying in a blog post:
“We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public…But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community.”
Jerry Davis at Harvard Business Review’s Blog Network says Eich’s resignation is “like a recall election.” While some critics cried foul and others applauded Mozilla workers, the bottom line is that the employees spoke, and the company listened.
“Whether you view his resignation as a form of mob rule that stifles free speech or as a necessary outcome for a mission-driven open-source organization that must maintain the goodwill of employees, one thing is clear: we are going to be seeing a lot more of this,” Davis writes.
That makes sense — employees are a company’s most valuable asset. Whether your employer makes widgets or shoes or reports the news, the people who work for the organization determine its values — and value.
What does this mean for you, the employee? Well, if you’re a manager, remember that you need buy-in from your workers, if you want to make any initiative a success, whether it’s a new boss or a special project. And if you’re one of the little guys, don’t forget that your voice matters, especially if it’s in concert with a lot of other voices.
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